Game Dev

Story mechanics in Assassin’s Creed

Like most stealth games, the Assassin’s Creed franchise is a prime example of the mechanical connection to the game’s subject, whether that be the characters, the story, or both. I have played the original Assassin’s Creed with Altair and through ⅔’s on Ezio’s storyline in AC: 2, AC: Brotherhood, and AC: Revelations. While I find the mechanics in Ezio’s game’s to be more engaging, the story in the original game captures me the most. Ubisoft’s crusade-ridden 12th century world is an appealing location for fantasy, and even more so when playing as an assassin as opposed to a crusading templar or wealthy leader of the time period. As an assassin, these are the types of enemies players would resist. Being an assassin means being a hidden rebellion from the shadows and rooftops.

Viewpoints are essential for players to discover where they are and also to find hidden objects. This is perfectly in line with being an assassin, because the assassin must discover everything around them in order to formulate the most proper plan of action before striking. Viewpoints force the player to do this as they know nothing about the city before entering it, and they are rewarded with information in the form of targets and treasure caches. A few viewpoints are also protected by guards, and the players had to stealthily dispose of them in order to access the viewpoint.

Throughout the series, characters can use a mechanic called “blending”. This is yet another perfect mechanic for an assassin as they move around the space and sneak into areas in more ways than just jumping between rooftops. On foot, Altair can enter a group of scholars or people and bow his head to avoid being seen by enemies. He will then be “following” the group and go wherever the group goes until the player forces him to exit. There are specific moments in the game where players must switch from 2-3 groups without bringing attention to themselves in order to reach their destination. Altair can also blend on horseback by bowing his head and appearing less suspicious, but this is more finicky than when he’s on foot. There are a couple enemies that ignore the blending mechanic and will recognize Altair no matter what; these are naturally Archers and Knights Templars.

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